Evolve or go Extinct: Four Trends Bringing PR into the Future
By Samuel Tan on December 27 , 2018
As 2019 approaches, the PR industry remains resilient by striving to adapt to remain relevant and effective. Listed below are four trends which I believe are surfacing in the PR industry.
Earned Media is still Important
A recent study showed that marketers in B2B industries are making a shift towards allocating greater budgets and priority towards earned media as compared to paid media outlets. This is because the latter is perceived as limited in its influence.
The sizes of newsrooms are gradually dwindling with fewer journalists left to pitch to. Interestingly, this only increases the journalist’s selectivity of pitches. Now, just any other content will not do and only the most tailored content will be published. This will test the skill of PR practitioners, forcing them to raise their writing and pitching game or risk not being picked up by the media at all.
Data from Cision Study
PR Helps Re-establish Eminence of the Media
Fake news is gaining popularity in mainstream culture and the phrase is no longer limited to media outlets with unfavourable opinions. This issue is compounded by the perceived notion that anyone and everyone can be a journalist with the proliferation of citizen journalist websites.
Since PR largely relies on earned media to be its mouthpiece, this loss of trust in the media only hurts the PR industry. Perhaps the greatest challenge (and opportunity) for the PR industry is to help re-establish the eminence people once had for the press by providing the press material promptly but accurately as well.
Use creative communication methods
At the core of PR is effective communication. Whether writing a media release for the press or copywriting a blog post for one’s client, a competent PR practitioner will be able to advance his/her point accurately and succinctly.
Already, a study shows that displaying data by illustrative visuals is a welcome change by those in the financial sector. A mode of displaying data by illustrative means include infographics. Methods like these make the data easier to understand, more engaging, and more share-worthy on social media.
Data from Edelman Study
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data accumulation
Last, the growing use of AI and data will aid in boosting productivity levels of PR practitioners. AI has proven itself adept at completing repetitive tasks like media monitoring, thus freeing up time for PR practitioners to focus on areas like writing and media relations. Furthermore, the use of AI has led to faster and more accurate levels of monitoring engagement levels on social media platforms. Similarly, data accumulation will allow PR practitioners to make more informed decisions by pinpointing specific information quickly but accurately.
In all, the PR industry is constantly changing and adapting to new market trends to be ever relevant and effective. PR industry extinct? I reckon not.
Samuel is a Public Relations intern at Huntington Communications from the months of Nov 2018 to Feb 2019. Outside work, he is a student at the University of Queensland where he reads Public Relations and International Relations.
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